What We Do



CSE is dedicated to promoting best practices for federal, state and local agencies who are legally bound to justify the economic basis for their decisions and demonstrate that they serve the public interest. To this end, we monitor, comment and if necessary challenge in court decisions that affect the well being of the nation’s economy and its citizens. These include decisions related to land and resource management and economic policy. We also help leaders in Congress, state legislatures as well as county and city councils and commissions analyze the impacts of innovative legislative approaches to solving our economic challenges. Our advocacy initiatives are grouped into three separate categories:

  • Litigation – CSE houses a team of experienced law fellows and expert witnesses that can help organizations hold public agencies accountable for their commitments to protect the environment, foster equity, and provide meaningful opportunities for public participation. We help develop and coordinate litigation strategies that advance sustainability initiatives and guard against threats to the quality of our environment and economy. Our fellows litigate under statues such as the federal National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, National Forest Management Act, Clean Water Act, Freedom of Information Act and their state level counterparts. Our experts bolster their work by supplying declarations in the fields of environmental economics, conservation biology, and planning.
  • Administrative processes – Public decisions and planning processes often require extensive involvement by interested parties and the expertise to decipher mountains of technical information. CSE’s environmental law, economics, and environmental policy fellows help organizations be effective in administrative processes that are often exceedingly complex. We prepare administrative level comments and appeals on both a programmatic and site-specific basis, and help organizations develop systems to monitor upcoming projects.
  • Legislative support - Making the transition to a sustainable society will require innovative legislative solutions in Congress and at the state and local levels. CSE helps develop and build support for these solutions by commenting on legislative language, providing comprehensive analysis of proposals, sponsoring educational forums for legislators, and testifying in hearings. While we do not lobby for or against specific legislative proposals, our broad expertise in economics and sustainability can help evaluate the efficacy of various approaches.


Shepard Flat Wind Farm

Six Critical Improvements for Oregon’s Healthy Climate Bill

Problem #1: The timber industry, which is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state is not counted as a source of greenhouse gas emissions to be constrained. Solution: The Healthy Climate Bill must fully account for ALL greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, including the timber ... Read More
Victory: China Agrees to "Strictly Limit" Public Finance for High-Carbon Projects

Victory: China Agrees to “Strictly Limit” Public Finance for High-Carbon Projects

​For Immediate Release September 25, 2015 For further information, contact: Daphne Wysham 202-510-3541 (c); daphne@sustainable-economy.org The Sustainable Energy and Economy Network declared a major victory on September 25, 2015, when China, one of the largest financiers of infrastructure projects worldwide, agreed to “strictly limit” the amount of public financing that ... Read More
In Battle Over Fracked Propane Gas Exports, David Beats Goliath

In Battle Over Fracked Propane Gas Exports, David Beats Goliath

It was the classic David and Goliath battle: On one side, school children and “Raging Grannies.” On the other, the $6 billion Pembina Pipeline Corporation, the largest pipeline company in the Canadian tar sands, and a plan to build the largest private investment project in Portland, OR, history– a $500 ... Read More